Quantcast

California Is the First State to Ban Fur Sales

Animals
Protesters attend the 32nd annual Fur-Free Friday demonstration on Nov. 23, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. Ella DeGea / Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that that bans the sale and manufacture of fur products in the state. The fur ban, which he signed into law on Saturday, prohibits Californians from selling or making clothing, shoes or handbags with fur starting in 2023, according to the AP.


The law goes beyond the sale and manufacture of fur and also bars residents from donating fur products.

"CA has no place for the inhumane & unsustainable treatment of animals," tweeted state assemblywoman Laura Friedman who authored the bill. "Now for other states to follow in our legacy."

The law defines fur as "animal skin or part thereof with hair, fleece or fur fibers attached thereto." For fur shoppers that means they will not be able to buy mink, sable, chinchilla, lynx, fox, rabbit, beaver, coyote and other luxury furs, according to The New York Times.

"The signing of AB 44 underscores the point that today's consumers simply don't want wild animals to suffer extreme pain and fear for the sake of fashion," said Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States, as the AP reported. "More cities and states are expected to follow California's lead, and the few brands and retailers that still sell fur will no doubt take a closer look at innovative alternatives that don't involve animal cruelty."

There are some fairly significant exceptions to the law, especially for cowhide, deerskin, sheepskin and goatskin, which means shearling is acceptable. There are also exceptions for religious observances like the fur hats, or shtreimels, worn by Hasidic Jews and furs and pelts worn for traditional tribal, cultural or spiritual purposes by members of Native American tribes, as The New York Times reported.

Retailers who defy the law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, will have to pay $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for multiple offenses.

Similar bans banning fur sales have been introduced in New York and Hawaii, though they have not yet made it into law. The California ban does follow the lead of some of its largest urban centers, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Berkeley — all of which have some sort of fur ban in place. Additionally, several European countries have outlawed fur farming, including Serbia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Norway, Germany and the Czech Republic, according to The New York Times.

The fur ban was not the only animal rights bill that Gov. Newsom signed on Saturday. He also signed a few other bills designed to prevent animal cruelty.

One bill puts a stop to wild animals like tigers and elephants from performing in circuses. The law exempts dogs, cats and horses. It does not apply to rodeos.

Another law puts a moratorium on hunting, trapping and killing bobcats, and another protects horses from slaughter, as CNN reported. One bill that Newsom signed took aim at trophy hunting by expanding the list of dead animals that cannot be sold in the state legally.

"California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur," Newsom said in a statement, as the AP reported. "But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames."

The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hailed the bills.

"Today is a historic day for animals in California, including those who have been whipped into performing in circuses, or skinned alive for their fur or skin," said Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of PETA, in a statement, as CNN reported. "PETA is proud to have worked with compassionate legislators to push these lifesaving laws forward and looks to other states to follow California's progressive lead."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More